Skeptics roast Apple for ‘absurd’ claim about Korean jobs

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South Korean flag
Apple Korea claims more than 300,000 jobs. South Koreans say under 1,000.
Photo: Valentin Janiaut/Wikimedia CC

Some in South Korea’s tech industry say Apple is “absurd” for claiming it created 325,000 jobs in that country since 1998.

The true number, industry analysts there say, is only 500.

A report in The Korea Times quotes unnamed sources calling out Apple Korea for inflating its impact on South Korea’s economy.

Apple Korea was careful to say the large number reflects both direct and indirect jobs.

About 200,000 of the jobs Apple claims are independent app developers. Another 125,000 are through partners, such as POSCO, Nemarble and Kakao Bank. This number also includes Samsung employees making components for Apple products.

Apple Korea has 500 on the payroll, including designers and engineers.

“The calculation is ridiculous,” said an unnamed official from an unnamed smartphone company (let us guess which company). “To borrow Apple Korea’s words, a company may be able to say that it indirectly employs a worker at a petrol station if a CEO’s driver fills up a vehicle at that petrol station.”

The report also quoted an unnamed game company official.

“Google also operates an app store,” the official said. “It is absurd for Apple to make such a claim as if its app store was the only one that has contributed to the employment of game developers.”

That unnamed smartphone company official bristled over Apple CEO Tim Cook telling President Trump that the tariffs could give Samsung a competitive advantage over Apple.

“Apple has moved to hold Korean companies in check in the United States, but pretended to be a good company in Korea,” the person said.

Source: The Korea Times